Lights-out machining at Ritchie Precision

Lang Technik has completed a Lang RoboTrex installation at the premises of Ritchie Precision in Livingston.

Ritchie Precision recently had the opportunity to quote for a high-volume, long-term contract related to the manufacture of intricate, multi-feature medical components with extremely challenging dimensional tolerances. Mindful of the length of the potential contract and the fact that the company could amortise some of the costs involved in purchasing the necessary equipment, Ritchie set about investigating the most efficient methods of producing the complicated components and achieving their demanding dimensional specifications.

The company installed three DMU eVo universal machining centres from DMG Mori, all of which are now served by Lang Robo-Trex automation systems. Working unattended and fed by the Lang Robo-Trex systems, the company’s DMU eVo machines run throughout the day. Then, before the end of each day shift, the company restocks the Robo-Trex trollies with batches of workpieces, enabling each machining centre to run unmanned throughout the night.

The trollies are loaded with multiple vices that hold workpieces ready for machining. Unattended, the systems’ robots pick workpieces from the trollies, load them into the DMG machines and, when complete, return them to the trollies.

A simple to operate touch panel enables easy control of the automated system and, thanks to external trolley access, production remains seamless as there is no need to interrupt the machining cycles. It is possible to control the system’s zero-point clamping system either pneumatically through the machine tool, or mechanically via the system’s robot.
Ritchie Precision’s senior manufacturing engineer Taylor Barr says: “By enabling our three new universal machining centres to work around the clock without stopping, our Lang Robo-Trex systems have allowed the maximum productive potential of the machines to be realised.”

For further information
www.lang-technik.co.uk

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